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Going back nearly a century, British mountaineer George Mallory offered a simple reason for his attempts to climb Everest: “Because it’s there.”

Jump forward to the present day, and you’ll find Long View’s very own Matt Vandenbeld is cut from the same cloth. He’s reached a rare summit in the IT industry . . . and he did it, in large part, because he likes a challenge.

“I’m a completionist, I guess. If something’s out there to get, I like to get it,” says Matt, a Technical Architect in Long View’s Calgary office. “I like to set targets for myself and achieve them. And it was kind of a career goal of mine to be top of the mountain, as it were.”

Recently, Matt and Long View colleague James Charter, the Practice Director for Virtualization Solutions, managed an extremely rare distinction in the IT sphere — earning VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) accreditation. Just five IT experts across Canada, and 110 all over the world, have qualified for VCDX status.

It’s the highest level of certification available from technology vendor VMware, a Long View partner and an industry leader in cloud and virtualization software.

Matt and James have joined the global elite, effectively, and they’ve managed it with Long View assistance. Competence is one of Long View’s core pillars, and Long View backs that up by both sourcing and providing technical, soft-skills, and leadership training year round.

Reaching the VCDX summit took nearly a year, and hundreds of hours, for Matt and James — who worked in tandem to design and implement a refined virtualization project that demonstrated an appropriate level of background expertise. Finally, during the VMware Partner Exchange 2013 conference in Las Vegas in February, they successfully submitted, presented, and defended the project in person before a panel of VMware VCDX-certified experts — and then, on top of that, they worked through a design and troubleshooting scenario with the panel, too.

“VMware have certified us as global design experts,” says James. “To a Long View client, this means we have the capability of applying the best practices, and the approach, to ensure the solution we’re building with them will be successful.”

Prospective employees will be intrigued to learn that Long View has its own Learning and Development group, working with employees to actively source training and certification opportunities. And if it qualifies as relevant professional development, it’s on the company dime.

Nathania Parnetta is our incomparable Learning and Development Team Lead at Long View. She says that in any given year, Long View will offer 180 different technical, soft-skills, and leadership classes, and that our employees will partake in more than 1,800 different formal training sessions, all paid for by Long View.

Some impressive stats, to say the least.

“Long View openly supporting employees in their professional and personal development really fits with the culture that’s here,” says Nathania.

Only 44 virtualization architects from service providers around the world have aced VCDX certification. For Matt and James, it opens doors and instantly adds credibility to any professional discussion.

And the fact that Long View paid the bills? “To me, it shows that Long View is a company that’s invested in the development of its people,” says Matt, “and it speaks volumes as to how we operate as an organization.”